Russian Journal of Plant Physiology

, Volume 66, Issue 4, pp 556–563 | Cite as

Effect of Water Stress on Photosynthesis, Chlorophyll Fluorescence Parameters and Water Use Efficiency of Common Reed in the Hexi Corridor

  • Y. J. Zhang
  • H. Gao
  • Y. H. Li
  • L. Wang
  • D. S. KongEmail author
  • Y. Y. Guo
  • F. Yan
  • Y. W. Wang
  • K. Lu
  • J. W. Tian
  • Y. L. Lu


Water stress is the major environmental stress that affect agricultural production worldwide, especially in arid and semi-arid regions. This research investigated the effect of water stress on common reed (Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steud.) grown in the West Lake Wetland of Zhangye City, China. We designed with four water treatments (100, 95, 85 and 75% of water field capacity, i.e. CK (100%), mild (95%), moderate (85%) and severe (75%) water deficit regimes). The effect of water stress on photosynthesis and chlorophyll fluorescence parameters was investigated. There was a midday depression in net photosynthetic rate (Pn) for CK, mild and moderate drought, but not for severe drought. Stomatal limitation was dominant for mild treatment. But under severe drought stomatal limitation to photosynthesis was dominating in the morning and nonstomatal limitation was dominating in the afternoon. Compared with CK treatment, Pn, stomatal conductance (gs), intercellular CO2 concentration (Ci), transpiration rate (E) and water use efficiency (WUE) were always lower at drought stress. This result suggests that water stress caused the photosynthesis of common reed to be completely blocked and the common reed was a drought-sensitive plant. We found 75% is the moisture threshold for common reed. The decrease in Fm, Fv, Fv/Fm and increase F0 suggested that Rubisco activity reduced and PSII partially inactivated during the day under drought. However, part of this inactivation of PSII might be alleviated under mild or moderate drought, but severe drought cannot. Drought stress also affected the photosynthesis Pn-PAR response curve. Drought stress increased LCP, RD and decreased LSP, Pmax and AQY. This indicates that when common reed suffers from drought, the utilization range of light intensity become narrowed and photosynthetic ability or adaptability to light reduced.


Phragmites australis photosynthesis chlorophyll fluorescence water use efficiency the Hexi Corridor 



This study was funded by the programs of National Natural Science Foundation of China (project no.31460113), the project of fund on Gansu Province (project no. GYHY20156001-02) from the Lanzhou Institute of Arid Meteorology of China Meteorological Administration, the Scientific Research Project of the Higher Education Institutions of Gansu Province (project no. 2017A-085) and the project supported by the Natural Science Foundation for Young Scientists of Gansu Province, China (project no. 1506RJYA177).


The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. This article does not contain any studies involving animals or human participants performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. J. Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • H. Gao
    • 1
  • Y. H. Li
    • 1
  • L. Wang
    • 1
  • D. S. Kong
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Y. Y. Guo
    • 1
  • F. Yan
    • 1
  • Y. W. Wang
    • 4
  • K. Lu
    • 1
  • J. W. Tian
    • 1
  • Y. L. Lu
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Hexi UniversityZhangyeChina
  2. 2.Lanzhou Institute of Arid Meteorology, China Meteorological AdministrationLanzhouChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Hexi Corridor Resources Utilization of Gansu, Hexi UniversityZhangyeChina
  4. 4.Gansu Institute of Soil and Water Conservation SciencesLanzhouChina

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